Although Australia legalized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2016, accessing it remains a lengthy, bureaucratic ordeal that’s left many Australians frustrated. The introduction of a new online application was intended to simplify the process. But reports from Down Under have indicated that the road to acquiring medicinal cannabis in Australia might be bumpier than most people realize.
According to BuzzFeed News, a panel of industry experts had trouble explaining “the many layers and bureaucratic processes” involved with the application. The event, which took place at the University of Sydney on Monday, brought together government representatives, academics, and patient advocates. While the panel was “formally focused on addressing the experiences and challenges faced by all sides of the medical cannabis world,” the conversation quickly turned to “the country’s often criticized access pathway.”
John Skerritt, deputy secretary for health products regulation at Australia’s Department of Health, cited “the 48-hour turnaround online portals” as evidence of a streamlined application process. Lucy Haslam, a former nurse and patient advocate, said that her phone “would not stop ringing” with calls from people who experienced technical difficulties with the government’s system, reports BuzzFeed News. Some audience members shared their stories of resorting to buying cannabis from